Richard Dadd

  • Birth 1 Aug 1817 Kent, England
  • Death 7 Jan 1886 Berkshire, England
  • Burial Crowthorne, Bracknell Forest Borough, Berkshire, England
  • Memorial ID 15310988

Richard Dadd was a famous Painter and Murderer, but known for his Art abilities, which may never have surfaced if he hadn't come to the attention of authorities and was arrested. Like many other famous Painters before him, some were known to have criminal backgrounds and a bit eccentric. He was born in Chatham, area of Kent, in England. At 13 the family moved to London. When he was 20, showing signs of Art talent, he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Art. Dadd made many friends there, fellow artists, known as the "Clique." He won several awards while at the Academy. In 1841 he recieved a commission to do the Woodblock Illistrations for a book called the "Book of British Ballads."He also did an oil painting called, "Titania Sleeping," which was one of his best early works. It was the Victorian Era, they were obsessed with Fairy Lore, many of his paintings included the supernatural, or Fairy Lore. In 1842, Richard Dadd and his patron, Sir Thomas Phillips, left England to travel throughout Europe and the Middle East.

While in Egypt, he encountered some Arab men smoking a water pipe called a hubbly-bubbly. He spent five days smoking with those Arab men, though the men didn't speak, Dadd was fascinated by the strange pipe and the sound it made, convinced it was a coded message from the ancient Egyptian God, Osiris. After the encounter, Richard suffered from persistant headaches and odd behavior. His traveling companion attributed it to sun stroke. In 1843, they landed in Paris, Dadd left Phillips, returned to England, where his family had him see a Physician specializing in Mental Illness, he had shown signs of violence. On August 28th, 1843, his father took him for a rest on doctors orders, up to a chalk pit hole in a forest area, called Paddock. Richard murdered and dismembered his father with a knife and razor, then fled back to Paris, where he tried slashing a tourists throat.

French Police arrested him, sent him back to England for trial, after he confessed to killing his father. Richard Dadd was found insane and in July of 1844, sent to Bedlam Asylum for the criminally insane, now known as Bethlehem Mental Hospital. He was there 20 years, where the doctors encouraged his painting, which had a calming effect on him. Then he was transferred to Broadmoor Asylum in the Berkshire Moors, 32 miles from London, England, where he spent the rest of his life and died. He died from Acute Lung Disease at the age of 69. Some of his paintings became classics and are displayed in London Museums.


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  • Created by: Bonnie Fortney- Wichita, Kansas
  • Added: 12 Aug 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15310988
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Dadd (1 Aug 1817–7 Jan 1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15310988, citing Broadmoor Asylum Cemetery, Crowthorne, Bracknell Forest Borough, Berkshire, England ; Maintained by Bonnie Fortney- Wichita, Kansas (contributor 46786768) .